With Trump in Washington set to hurt public education funding by removing or capping Elmont's homeowners mortage interest deduction, and Cuomo in Albany ready to pay off his donors, Fred Wilpon and partner Jon Ledecky (who has lost almost $100M since purchasing the Islanders) by gifting the two billionaires Belmont Park for use as a skating rink. It's time Elmont and the surrounding communities understand and resist the peril posed by these two New York politicians.
Residents of the Parkhurst Civic Association met on Tuesday, November 28 at the Elmont Public Library to discuss the state of Belmont Park. Senator Todd Kaminsky was present and spoke about what's to come.
“There are three proposals and one will be chosen” said Kaminsky. “... after the winning proposal is selected by the Empire State Development Corp. [New York State’s main business development agency], community input will determine the final shape of the project”. His tone was troubling and may have been intended to soften the community's resolve against what has since materialized.
Elmont resident, Aubrey Phillips questioned the idea of another listening session.
“Listening session, what for? … There are [were] three bidders and two are arenas.” said Phillips.
He continued “... the community has emphatically rejected the now bankrupt Cosmos soccer stadium proposal and noted that proposals with stadiums as it's core value is in direct contradiction to the majority wishes of Elmont's high-taxed residents.”
On Sunday, December 3rd residents of Elmont and the Belmont Park Community demonstrated their commitment to seeing smart growth development at Belmont Park. There were signs and voices inviting “development like the Amazon HQ project to our community”, said Cheryl Lee. The rally “Modern Careers for a Modern Community” was a grassroots effort supported in part by Nassau County Legislator Solages.
Since those two meetings, Parkhurst's civic meeting and the rally at Belmont Park, a new development has rocked the Elmont community. Residents have since learned that a bidder, Blumenfeld Development Group (BDG), has withdrawn thus leaving the community with no choice.
“With the probable use of payment in leu of taxes or PILOTs, taxpayers will not see their property taxes reduced or new revenues from Belmont Park’s increased value for school district and local benefits but will see their taxes remain the same or possibly increase to subsidize billionaire developers”, says Matthew Sexton of Floral Park.
“BDG cited a series of “extraordinary requirements, preconditions and reviews” that would appear to create a selection process that has been pre-determined.” Elmont residents has long noted the ESD had placed their thumb on the scale in favor of first the Cosmos' plan and evidently they are at it again with the Islanders.
With Trump and Cuomo poised to erode the quality of life in our community, albeit in different ways, residents must standup and be counted. Let it be know that another 'listening session' is unnecessary. Elmont has spoken. Elmont has shouted its wishes into the blackhole called 'Albany'.
Why should Elmont taxpayers be forced to bailout the billionaire's $100B loss? Why?